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Comic Review: Merciless: The Rise of Ming #2
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Dynamite Entertainment: Merciless: The Rise of Ming #2Merciless: The Rise of Ming #2
Written by Scott Beatty
Art by Ron Adrian
Colors by Roni Setiawan
Letters by Simon Bowland
Cover by Alex Ross
Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: June 20, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99

In Merciless: The Rise of Ming #2, I’m not sure what happens. Either Ming’s already beyond-repair black soul falls deeper and deeper into the abyss of Hell or more of his own personality comes out. Maybe it’s a little of each. All I know is, it’s pretty fun to watch.

Imagine the creation of Darth Vader. No, not THAT one, the 1983 one. The one that you envisioned in your head after you saw Return of the Jedi and Obi-Wan explained, without too much detail (thanks for that, Ben!) that Anakin Skywalker had indeed fallen to The Dark Side of the Force and became Darth Vader. Remember the story you came up with in your head on the way home from the theater? Well, that’s pretty much what Scott Beatty has done here for Ming the Merciless.

There are many kingdoms on the planet Mongo and we watch as, one by one, young Ming picks them each apart and makes each one helpless in a different way. How he gains more and more allegiances to him when they should go to the rightful Emperor of Mongo. What we’re seeing here is a man, who’s plan is coming together, yet he has seemingly all the time in the world and that’s what’s most interesting. While we know how seeds are planted, we don’t know the WHOLE story yet. And I’m not sure, in most cases, if we ever will and that’s fine. But watching his twisted mind work is shamefully entertaining. VERY entertaining.

RON ADRIAN IS AWESOME! Just wanted to get that out of the way. His work here is second to none. And I mean NONE. His art carefully mirrors the look and feel of Flash Gordon Zeitgeist without copying it by any means. His version of the Planet Mongo is THE version of the Planet Mongo that’s used in both books; I’m sure that comes from superior editing and the overseeing of art by Alex Ross. While Adrian gets to draw a lot of things that aren’t seen in Zeitgeist, he doesn’t make them look foreign at all. They look like they gel perfectly in line with that book. And, maybe this is just my imagination running away with me, but I think I’ve spotted some winks and nods to the fantastic Filmation Flash Gordon cartoon in these pages. Trust me, I’d be the one to know.

So, whether you’re looking for something to read between Flash Gordon Zeitgeist issues or just an amazingly entertaining comic book, this one’s for you! Dynamite is really treating Flash Gordon like a franchise should be treated. Organic spin-offs, not forced on-going and micro-series. It’s nice to see them take a step back and let things happen naturally and not forcing inferior comics into the hands of a much too-willing public. By no means, though, you can’t go wrong with this series!

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